Kathryn A Whitfield @Whit_Writes@virtwriting Hello all @virtwriting and all #VWG –ers! Thank you for inviting me to tell the story of how I got my agent. As for most writers, it’s a long story…
A "how I got my agent" story!
Claire Wright @clairewrites__@AnneTibbets Hi! I see you finished this, but thought I’d throw my hat into the ring still. If I pitched a book to an agent before, but it’s gone through an extensive overhaul where even the main characters are different genders/names/semi-different plot, can I repitch it or nah?
I'd say yes, but with full disclosure that it's an extensive revision of one they'd seen before.
Michelle Henrie @MichelleHenrie@AnneTibbets Great advice! Also, would you recommend slipping in information about a New York Times best-selling author who has offered to write a recommendation or wait until I have an offer?
You can slip that in, but honestly, as an agent, I wouldn't believe it until I saw the actual recommendation.
Sadly, the liars have jaded me.
But, it may hold more weight with a different agent.
Lee Greenaway @leegwrites@AnneTibbets If a novel rides the YA/Adult line, should the writer use ‘YA with crossover potential’? Rewrite to suit one or the other, or dare I say it, NA?
Sadly, NA has a bad rep so I wouldn't pitch it as that unless the agent is looking for NA.
Yes, "YA with crossover appeal" is my vote.
Harder to place YA in adult, than YA cross in YA, but there have been some exceptions lately, esp in Fantasy, so this might be evolving.
H.W. Johnston @hwjohnston7@AnneTibbets Are a majority of agents editorial agents?
If an agented author has a tough day job can extensions be made to a deadline?
I don't know if the majority of agents are editorial, but I'm going to say the majority of agents I know are, yes.
And yes, extensions can be made. Best to ask for more time upfront, honestly, so it doesn't mess up a publisher's production schedule.
Michelle Henrie @MichelleHenrie@AnneTibbets If you're still looking for questions, I'd love to know an agent's thoughts on jumping genres.
I write fantasy, but since a contemporary romcom has percolated in my brain, that's what I'm doing right now.
As a writer I jumped genres (and even categories), and my agents pitched it all. So, just be sure when you query to look for an agent who reps widely, and if they offer, be sure to ask them how THEY feel about it. Better that than signing and springing it on them.
DawsonEmerich @DawsonEmerich@AnneTibbets How do agents balance work reading and pleasure reading?
In my case, very poorly. I used to read about a half dozen books a year, but now, I'm like MAYBE 3.
I love and admire all agents who manage to read more. They're a necessary part of the job, as palate cleansers and a temperature of the market.
Rebecca Benison @rbenison89@AnneTibbets Is it a turn-off to use Mary Higgins Clark novels as comps? I feel like it might seem dated, but I really feel like her pacing and energy is the closest match to my MS.
If you have another comp that's less than 5 years old ALSO, then I see no problem with MHC as a comp. I LOOOOOOOOOOVE MHC.
KimVampyVampDrinksBloodInTheCorner @Natkim17052342@AnneTibbets Is it true that YA sci fi is a hard sell?
I have opinions on this, but I always hesitate to say them for fear people will take it as prophecy or the ultimate truth...but, in my ever so humble opinion, dystopia and paranormal are due for a comeback. YA space opera isn't impossible, just in less demand at this time.
Hayley @hsquared20@AnneTibbets How specific should you be with the manuscript word count in the query? I’ve been including the exact number of words, but some of the examples I see look like the author just rounds to the nearest 1,000.
You can round up. It's likely to change if we sign and do edits anyway.
Lily Mehallick @LilyMehallick@AnneTibbets Thanks for doing this! I’m getting the impression that not many agents will be taking a look at pitmad pitches tomorrow. Thoughts?
I know several agents who will be there! I'm going to be checking them too. Pitmad is never a waste of time, but also, querying works just as well.
Maya Keita @MayaKeita4@AnneTibbets What would you need to see in a query for a series (1-3 books). Would I just pitch the first book and pray that catches your attention or would you need more?
Pitch the first book and mention in the query it's intended as a first in a series. Have book 2 and 3 pitches on standby. If the agent loves the first book, they're likely to ask what you have planned for the rest.
CJ Dotson @cj_dots@AnneTibbets Is there a general preference among agents to represent an author who writes in several genres, or an author who focuses on one genre, or not really a common preference either way?
I think this depends on the agent. It's certainly EASIER to shop a writer w/n the same genre, but I think a writer has to be open to other genres if they can't land a deal in that one. I write in several genres and my agents have been flexible. I would hope most agents are too.
E. J. Dawson @ejdawsonauthor@AnneTibbets Query letter; pitch first or details?
I'm on Query Manager, so it doesn't pertain to me, but I'd say details first, pitch second. I don't think it's a deal breaker either way though
Yveline Garnier @YvelineGarnier@AnneTibbets What do you look for in a query? (Aside from the usual)
I might be one of the few agents who doesn't put a whole lot of stock in queries. The sample pages are more important to me. Off the cuff I'd say professionalism, an ability to follow direction, and a brief explanation as to why they queried me specifically. Aside from the usual.
AND MORE @BamaWriter@AnneTibbets if i have an indie publisher offering a contract, what's the best way to approach an agent in that situation?
Query them and maybe put "Offer of Publication" someplace in the subject line? Send the query, sample pages, and let them know you've had an offer and are looking for an agent to either a) negotiate this one deal and that's it, or b) negotiate the deal and sign you.
Adam Godfrey @adamfgodfrey@AnneTibbets As a general rule, are novella submissions (25-50k words) generally not of interest to agents?
Some agents rep novellas, so it's not a blanket no.
You'd have to check their query specs first.
🦙Vianna Goodwin فيانا 🦙(she/her) ☪️🏳️🌈 @GoodwinVianna@LZats When we're listing accomplishments in query letters, would you appreciate former ghostwriters sharing their publishing stats (x number of book in x genre with avg star rating) in the query?
Lynn Lovegreen @lynnlovegreen@LZats Thanks for offering! I have been working on a book that is upper MG or younger YA. Any thoughts about the difference between those categories? #askagent